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Aseptic control of organisms in the operating arena has long been a major goal of surgeons. The purpose of this study was to assess the facial skin flora of operating room personnel and its relationship to contamination adjacent to the surgical site. The authors found that, in spite of all attempts at aseptic control, operating room personnel have numerous organisms on the exposed facial areas, and the same organisms appear on the operating room table adjacent to the surgical site of about one in five patients.